Public comments are significant | Letters | Jan. 15
January 15, 2010 · 11:25 AM
Actually, this is a letter more to “Dear City Council” in a positive and constructive way to start the new term.
The idea is to make what is now an exercise in futility into a more meaningful exchange between council and those wishing to speak during what is called “pubic comment.”
As it has been, those who present their sincere views on issues of perceived importance are not only hastened along but seldom engaged in any responsive questioning to avoid delaying the council schedule.
In my professional life, I have testified before scores of state and federal regulatory and legislative bodies. Testimony almost always resulted in questions either to support or test the validity of what I had presented.
It is not only a matter of courtesy but often as not can result in ideas worthy of further pursuit.
After one such public comment not long ago, the council chair/mayor made it quite clear that such remarks are considered advisory only and hardly for time-consuming discussion.
So here is a plea to take another look at the idea of public comment as something legitimately important, certainly to the person commenting and maybe even to the entire community when properly evaluated.
Give that comment period the respect it deserves and do the same for those who took the time and effort to bring information and opinion to you.
It could be mutually rewarding in this coming term.
I guess that’s my opening public comment and hope others will join in.
Joseph J. Honick